- Two TDP ministers met PM Modi and resigned on Thursday evening
- TDP wants central government to give "special status" to Andhra Pradesh
- TDP has 16 lawmakers in the Lok Sabha, four in the Rajya Sabha
On Thursday, shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Chandrababu Naidu, the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, the two TDP ministers met the PM and handed him their resignation. Mr Naidu had said the "intended purpose" of joining the union cabinet was not served, so there was no point in continuing.
But the ministers, YS Chowdary and Ashok Gajapati Raju, told reporters that TDP remains part of the BJP-led national alliance NDA and any decision to end the alliance would be taken by Mr Naidu.
The TDP has 16 MPs in the Lok Sabha and four in the Rajya Sabha. TDP lawmaker Ravindra Babu had earlier told NDTV that the next "logical step" for his party is to exit the four-year alliance.
The alliance was brought to the brink when Mr Naidu called a press conference on Wednesday and announced that he was pulling out his ministers, hours after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley ruled out "special status" to Andhra Pradesh.
The TDP faces extreme pressure in Andhra Pradesh ahead of assembly elections and the national election next year, with opposition parties like the YSR Congress accusing Mr Naidu of failing the state by not ensuring special status for it as a partner at the centre. Andhra parties say nothing short of "special status" will do as that was promised to the state when it was bifurcated to carve out a new state Telangana, leaving what was left of Andhra Pradesh in a deep revenue deficit.
Mr Naidu said that he had tried to reach PM Modi but could not. "My OSD spoke to his OSD but the prime minister did not come on line," he said. He also complained that he had visited Delhi 29 times to press for special status, but without luck. "I went to Delhi 29 times, met Prime Minister and Central Ministers and requested them to fulfil our demands," said the Chief Minister.
Arun Jaitley had said that the centre was happy to give funds to Andhra Pradesh, but cannot give it special status as that scheme was scrapped by the 14th Finance Commission for all states except the north east and hill states.
Mr Naidu alleged Mr Jaitley suggested TDP was "asking for money at the expense of the country's Defence Budget... Jaitley spoke like we asked for all the money. We felt insulted."
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